October 10th, 2008


Improv done did.

So, years and years ago (10? 12?), I kicked and clawed and begged my way into an improv group in Cambridge, MA. I would have bribed people, if I had known who to send the unmarked bills to.

And then my career got in the way of all that fun, and then I moved from Cambridge.

A year ago, the theatre where I volunteer began doing improv performances. I volunteered to usher, because they needed ushers, and ushering is something well within my skillset.

And then I mentioned something along the lines of "back when I was doing improv...". Actually, I think I mentioned it a couple dozen times, and someone said "oh, you should TOTALLY come to improv practices!"

And I totally did.

By the way, some people are uncomfortable with the notion that there are practices, that somehow improv should be completely unrehearsed. And, you're right, of course. But think of basketball or soccer. Those have practices. That's the kind of thing that I'm talking about - a lot of skill building.

Which isn't really to say that improv comedy is in my skillset these days. I don't cringe up on stage, I know my non-geographical locations from my holes in the ground. I speak in the direction of the audience. I justify my actions. Yes, And.

But you look at the rest of the crew that were up on stage with me tonight, and they were all professional-quality performers. And, literally, I'd say that they were each professional actors, amongst other things. I'm still an amateur, and that's just fine. I had fun.

The other performers made sure to say that they enjoyed performing with me, which was kind, and in time, I expect I'll be more and more comfortable. This will be good - I had fun, and it was a novel experience to perform in this space that I've painted and ushered and audienced in. So that's all good.

I can't even recall what characters I was up on stage. I told a story of Jeremy versus the Zombie Bride of McCain in the style of Kung Fu Movies, and there was a Still Beating Heart involved, but other than that, it was a blur.